Behold the Novint Falcon! You can find out all about this nifty peripheral in the video. And you can read about it at the Level Up blog here.
The device is quite expensive, and in order for a gameplay prioritizing gamer such as myself to deem the product worthy of purchase, games that implement the unique features of the Novint Falcon must be created. I don't think a more visceral force feedback experience slapped on to an FPS is enough. And let's face it, the PC market is saturated with FPSs, RTSs, and RPGs of various types. Without reworking these genres from the ground up to use the Novint Falcon, these genres are likely to poorly implement the technology much like the motion controls in the Sixaxis controller for the PS3. I can't help but think that all the software that utilizes this controller will use it as as nothing more than a glorified rumble pack. Perhaps it's time for the PC market to revisit some of their less popular genres, like puzzle games. Where's my Wii Sports of the Novint Falcon?
Skepticism aside, I've played with a similar device while it was still being developed in a college lab many years ago. It is an amazing device in and of itself that provides a little glimpse into a future seen in many scifi films. So, along with all the other design challenges and projects that I've been wrestling with, I've decided to add this one into the mix.
Design Challenge: What kind of game or mechanic, would you develop to take full advantage of the Novint Falcon keeping in mind all of our favorite philosophies of Classical game design? Or how would you retool the popular PC genres (FPS, RTS, RPG) to take advantage of the new technology?
I'm already thinking of a Trauma Center style game where players get to reach inside human bodies and use the delicate 3d controller to perform surgeries. It's a messy job, but someone has to do it.